US imposes sanctions on network of ISIS financial facilitators

Some funds transferred by ISIS sympathisers were used to smuggle children out of camps

Veiled women, living in al-Hol camp which houses relatives of Islamic State (IS) group members, walk in the camp in al-Hasakeh governorate in northeastern Syria on March 28, 2019. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP)

The US on Monday imposed sanctions on five reported ISIS sympathisers working across Syria, Turkey and Indonesia who enable the transfer of funds to the extremist group in Syria.

The Treasury Department said the network played a role in conducting financial transfers to ISIS affiliates in camps for displaced people in Syria.

Some of the funds collected “were used to pay for smuggling children out of the camps and delivering them to ISIS foreign fighters as potential recruits”.

“Today, Treasury has taken action to expose and disrupt an international facilitation network that has supported ISIS recruitment, including the recruitment of vulnerable children in Syria,” said Brian Nation, the department's under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

“The United States, as part of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, is committed to denying ISIS the ability to raise and move funds across multiple jurisdictions,” he said.

Monday's sanctions against the five individuals — Dwi Dahlia Susanti, Rudi Heryadi, Ari Kardian, Muhammad Dandi Adhiguna and Dini Ramadhani — freezes their US assets and prohibits Americans from doing business with them.

Sympathisers in more than 40 countries have sent funds to ISIS members to support the group's “future resurgence”, the Treasury said.

Residents of displaced persons camps in Syria include those who fled ISIS rule in addition to ISIS members, supporters and their families.

ISIS supporters in the Al Hol camp have received up to $20,000 per month, the department said, with most of the funds coming from outside Syria.

Al Hol, the largest displacement camp in north-east Syria, holds about 70,000 people, mostly women and children.

Since 2019, ISIS has worked to smuggle its associates out of the camp mostly to Idlib, Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa governorates in Syria, the Treasury said, in addition to smuggling out displaced persons to recruit them as fighters.

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Reuters contributed to this report

Updated: May 11, 2022, 3:12 AM